In its request, UConn said it has implemented new standards for incoming basketball classes. Recruiting classes need to outperform their predecessors when it comes to SAT scores and grades.
For example, players enrolling next season will need to achieve a minimum 2.98 core-course grade point average or a 1020 on the SAT to meet the new guidelines.
Once enrolled, students will have new academic rules to follow, including:
— Attend at least nine hours of summer school each year.
— Class work checked daily as freshmen by a member of the basketball staff (it also applies to any player with a grade-point average of 2.3 or lower).
— Complete required course work before registering for elective courses.
— Adhere to a "graduation plan" created to ensure each player is on a path to graduate, even if they leave school early for the NBA or other opportunities.
The report also notes that Calhoun's contract calls for him to forfeit $100,000 to the University of Connecticut Foundation General Scholarship Fund for any scholarship lost due to an Academic Progress Report penalty.
Herbst made it clear in her statement that she supports Calhoun, who was a member of the committee that came up with the new academic plan.
"I cannot think of many people in this world who have improved the lives of young men more profoundly than Jim Calhoun, our Hall of Fame coach, and highly-valued member of this university community," she said.
The school said the academics of the basketball team are improving. It notes in the waiver request that the team attained perfect APR eligibility and retention scores for the Fall 2011 semester. The school also noted that it has just one player on the team left from the group that scored low enough to warrant sanctions.
"On a personal level, and as an educator, I would be very sorry to see such harsh punishment of the outstanding young men on our current basketball team," Herbst said. "I believe that it would be wrong to punish these students, caught in the fallout from a sudden passage of new rules — rules that did not exist when they enrolled at UConn.
"That would be a fundamental injustice to our team and to our university."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.